Broccoli is a green vegetable that looks similar to a miniature tree. It is usually disliked by kids but is very beneficial for the body. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It has a thick, central and edible stalk as well as a flowering head that is similar to a tree. It is mainly found in the Mediterranean and European countries. It started to appear in America in the 20th century while China and India are the largest cultivators of broccoli in the world. There are many health benefits of broccoli as it is very high in nutrition. It can be eaten raw, cooked or steamed and can be used for cooking many different cuisines. It also has many medicinal properties.
20 Health Benefits Of Broccoli
1. Broccoli Nutrition Value
Broccoli contains a high amount of nutrients. They have vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, selenium, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, tryptophan, phosphorous and vitamin B6. It is also rich in phytonutrients like glucosinolates and flavanoids that are also powerful antioxidants.
2. Prevents Arthritis
Studies have been conducted on mice as well as on cells and tissues; they found that sulforaphane which is compound present in broccoli has the ability to block an enzyme that damages cartilage. Broccoli is rich in sulfur containing compounds. It is also thought by researchers to slow down or even prevent the onset of osteoarthritis. This is one of the health benefits of broccoli.
3. Improves Heart Health
Omega 3 fatty acids, high fiber content as well as vitamins in broccoli helps in reducing the content of LDL cholesterol in the body. Sulforaphane helps in protecting the blood vessels and also reduces the oxidative stress up to 73 percent. Damaged blood vessels promote stroke and heart attacks however, eating broccoli may help prevent this damage in diabetics and promote heart health.
4. Promotes Immunity
One of the health benefits of broccoli is that it has a bioactive compound sulforaphane which helps boost the immune system. It helps in stimulating the antioxidants which in turn, helps reduce the oxidative stress in the body. Thus, it helps in preventing cellular damage and supports the immune system in fighting infections.
5. Reduces Abdominal Problems
Raw broccoli can help in treating acidity problems and increases absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract. This can be done because of the magnesium and vitamins present in broccoli. They also help in reducing inflammation in the stomach caused due to infections and other problems.
6. Delays Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral disease is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It causes the death of motor neurons. Broccoli is rich in omega 3 fatty acids; research suggests that these fatty acids may delay the onset of this condition. This is one of the health benefits of broccoli.
7. Improves Bone Health
Raw broccoli is rich in calcium and also in magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. Thus, it very beneficial for children as well as the elderly. Lactating mothers and middle-aged women suffer from loss in bone density and can benefit from eating broccoli. Also, it can prevent osteoporosis as well as people suffering from calcium deficiency.
8. Cures Constipation
Broccoli health benefits the body by providing good amounts of dietary fiber. This fiber helps by adding bulk to the food and also retains water. It also helps in improving bowel movements. It also aids in digestion and thereby, improving the health of the digestive tract.
9. Prevents Cancer
The bioactive compound in broccoli which is sulforaphane is shown to kill cancer causing stem cells and thereby preventing tumor growth. Also, glucoraphanin which is a precursor of sulforaphane helps in protecting against molecular damage. Studies have also shown where DNA methylation can be stabilized with sulforaphane and another study suggested that eating broccoli every week can help protect males from prostate cancer. This is one of the main health benefits of broccoli. Studies have also found that sulforaphane can inhibit histone diacetylase which is an enzyme that promotes the progression of cancer. Broccoli also contains good amounts of folate that is known to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
10. Detoxifying Agent
Broccoli helps to remove free radicals as well as other harmful toxins like uric acid from the body and thus also helps in purifying the blood. It has good amounts of amino acids, Vitamin C and sulfur that are powerful detoxifying agents. It thereby, helps in getting rid of rashes, skin problems and other health problems.
11. Improve Eye Health
Zeaxanthin, beta carotene, phosphorous, magnesium, Vitamin A and other nutrients in broccoli can help in protecting the eye from advanced eye problems like macular degeneration, cataracts and age associated vision problems. Thus broccoli is one the many foods which help to improve your vision or eyes.
12. Treats Anaemia
Broccoli is rich in iron and copper that is needed for the production and well-being of red blood cells. The deficiency of iron in the body leads to anemia. And thus, eating raw broccoli or cooked broccoli can help in maintaining the RBCs or increasing the RBCs levels in the body.
13. Improves Kidney Function
Studies have shown where hypertensive rats with impaired kidney functions that were given sulforaphane; showed improvement in blood pressure levels as well as improvement in kidney functions. Improving kidney function is one of the broccoli health benefits.
14. Benefits Pregnant Women
One of the health benefits of broccoli is that it is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and also is high in dietary fiber. Thus, it can provide the body with all the essential nutrients that a pregnant woman requires. It is also rich in folate and can protect the fetus from neural tube defects as well as spina bifida which is a birth defect.
15. Improves Brain Function
Broccoli helps in protecting the nervous system by providing the brain with good amounts of potassium. Potassium helps in proper functioning and thus protects it from cell damage and other problems. Thus when brain is protected its function will increase with improvement in memory.
16. Prevents Hair Loss
Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that helps in repairing damage caused to the hair. It is also rich in vitamin B6 which promotes hair growth by reducing stress. It also prevents the formation of dihydrotestosterone which enables hair loss. Thus, the vitamins in broccoli are crucial for preventing hair loss.
17. Natural Sunscreen
Broccoli contains antioxidants that prevent damage to the skin which can be caused from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Broccoli extract can be applied to the skin as it has sulforaphane which protects the skin from inflammation and damage caused by the sun. Thereby, broccoli can also be beneficial to the skin by protecting it from skin cancer.
18. Promotes Skin Health
Broccoli provides the skin with collagen that it necessary to promotes skin elasticity. Vitamin C and A helps in skin repair and regeneration and leaves the skin looking youthful and glowing.
One of the broccoli sprouts health benefits are that they help in reducing hypertension. This is due to the fact that it contains glucosinolate glucoraphanin which helps in maintaining blood pressure that is the main cause of this condition.
20. Combats Allergies
One of the benefits of sprouted broccoli seeds are that they have been found to eliminate toxins from the body. Studies have shown where this particular extract helps to eliminate harmful toxins carcinogens and others. This can also decrease allergies that may be caused by them.
Broccoli sprouts can be easily grown at home and is quite inexpensive. Broccoli sprouts health benefits the body as it contains 20 to 50 times more anti-cancer agents. It is similar to alfalfa sprouts but is much more beneficial than mature broccoli. It can even be grown in places where there is limited space. Both matur broccoli as well as broccoli sprouts can be very beneficial to the body and should be incorporated to your diet.